New Delhi: Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa thanked India for helping the island nation after multiple explosions on Easter Sunday but denied the need of foreign forces, like the National Security Guard, a counter-terrorism unit under India’s Ministry of Home Affairs.

“India has been helpful. But there is no need for NSG to come in. We don’t need foreign soldiers. Our forces are capable enough. We just need to give them powers and freedom,” said Rajapaksa in an exclusive interview with a leading channel. It was reported that the Narendra Modi-led Indian government has kept NSG commandoes on standby if the island nation needs any help.

Meanwhile, the former president also hit out at Sri Lankan government and blamed Maithripala Sirisena (current president of the island nation) and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for the deadly blasts that killed over 250 people and injured more than 500.  “They are busy playing politics at the cost of national security. They all knew about the growth of radicalism. They were worried about votes and vote bank and did not act,”News 18 quoted the former president as saying.

Earlier in the day, the elder brother of two suicide bombers who blew themselves up at two hotels in the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka was arrested during a raid in Dematagoda on Sunday. Reports said that Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed Ifran Ahmed was arrested in a house at the Mahawila Scheme.

The police Special Task Force also recovered a German-manufactured air gun and two swords from Ahmed’s possession. Following the bombings, the police took spice trader Mohamed Ibrahim into custody after his two sons were found to have been among those who carried out the attacks. The two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel and the Shangri-La Hotel. Two more of Ibrahim’s sons were also arrested while another one is on the run. Ibrahim has a total of nine children.

(With agency inputs)